Tag Archives: Bruce Springsteen

Music and 2012


I hate many things about year-end lists. For one, I hate the phrase you see when you encounter a list —  “It’s that time of the year” — which is really code for “OK, here’s a list because we need to provide something to click on while everybody goes on a two-week holiday bender of eggnog and Christmas cookies.”

But I also love many things about these lists. Sure, they’re gimmicky and lazy. But they’re also important. Life is fast, and hard, and busy. And sometimes, we need people to remind us what happened. I have been doing this list here for a couple years now. And I’ll go ahead and recycle what I wrote last year. Sure, it’s lazy. But then again, so are lists.

When I think back to (2012), I know I won’t think of one monolithic theme or narrative. Life doesn’t work that way. Not for me. But I will remember certain moments… and certain songs. So here we go, finally, the 12 songs I will remember from 2012.

12 Civilian — Wye Oak


11 Same Love — Macklemore and Ryan Lewis


10 Swimming Pools — Kendrick Lamar


9 Hold On — Alabama Shakes


8 The House That Heaven Built — Japandroids


7 Take A Walk — Passion Pit


6 Ghost Fields — Murder By Death


5 Live and Die — The Avett Brothers


4 We Take Care of Our Own — Bruce Springsteen


3 Harlem Roulette — Mountain Goats


2 Bigger Than Love — Ben Gibbard & Aimee Mann


1 The King of the World — First Aid Kit

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#MusicMonday: Bruce Springsteen

Every Monday morning. Music so good, it must be shared. 

This week: “For You” — Bruce Springsteen, off his 1973 debut album, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.”.

“Born to Run” turned 37 last week. The Boss turns 63 next month, just a few weeks before he comes to Kansas City for his first show in four years. And this song, later covered and remembered mostly as a Manfred Mann song, was recorded by Springsteen 40 years ago. Even today, it still feels cool.

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#MusicMonday: Bruce Springsteen

Every Monday morning. Music so good… it must be shared.

This week: “American Land” — Bruce Springsteen, live at Glastonbury, 2009. 
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The Return of List Mania

Well, it’s been forever. The story goes that Mark and I used to sporadically update the Brew House with an edition of “List Mania” — an ode to former Kansas City Star columnist Joe Posnanski, who famously wrote lists until one day, many years ago, he wrote a column saying he would never list again…

For the past year or so, there’s been very little listing around these parts. And that changes today. The era of gimmicky lists and random thoughts is back. And the listing baton has been passed. So here goes…

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A Christmas fairytale

It’s that time of year again. That time for hot cocoa, and Plaza Christmas lights, and most importantly, Christmas music.

It’s that time of year when you put your iTunes “Christmas” playlist on repeat, curl up with a good book, and reflect on another year.

We’re pretty sure everybody has their favorite Christmas song.

There are people who love listening to Mariah Carey sing about what she wants for Christmas.*

*Believe it or not, all she wants is you.

There are those who love to walk in a winter wonderland. There are those who want to have themselves a merry little Christmas. There are those who turn on Bruce and wait for Santa Clause to come to town.

*“You better watch out, you better not cry…” link to the video…

And there are those who dream of a white Christmas. Of course, all those songs are wonderful in there own way…

But every year, I always come back to one song — “Fairytale of New York” by the great Irish band, The Pogues.

That song –- in all its raw genius –- is Christmas time.

The song, of course, starts off with the famous line…

“It was Christmas eve, babe… in the drunk tank…”

So you know it’s not going to be your normal Christmas song…

But there’s more than that.

The song is about a guy remembering the Christmases he’d spent in New York city with an old flame.

And the song just makes you feel Christmas.

You can feel the wind in your face. You can feel the scarf around your neck. You can feel the Christmas ale on your tongue, and you can smell the Christmas tree in your living room.

And most of all, you can feel Christmas in the city.

“They’ve got cars big as bars
They’ve got rivers of gold
But the wind goes right through you
It’s no place for the old
When you first took my hand
On a cold Christmas Eve
You promised me
Broadway was waiting for me.”

Maybe it’s because I’m Irish, or maybe it’s because I’ve been to Galway Bay, or maybe it’s because there’s something great about putting on a sweater and stocking cap and walking around a big city during the Christmas season.

Or maybe… You can just imagine being there, in this song. And that’s why the fairytale will always play, every December, forever.

“Sinatra was swinging,
All the drunks they were singing
We kissed on a corner
Then danced through the night

The boys of the NYPD choir
Were singing “Galway Bay”
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas day…”

”…I could have been someone
Well so could anyone
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you
I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can’t make it all alone
I’ve built my dreams around you

…And The boys of the NYPD choir
Still singing “Galway Bay”
And the bells are ringing out
For Christmas Day”

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